Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was shortlisted for the Andrei Sakharov Prize awarded by the European Parliament.
About it reports Deutsche Welle… The short list was announced by the chairmen of two committees of the European Parliament. In addition to Navalny, 11 Afghan women and the imprisoned former acting president of Bolivia, Jeanine Agnes, are nominated for the award.
The winner of the Freedom of Thought Prize will be announced on October 21st.
Navalny’s candidacy was nominated by the largest faction of the European Parliament – the European People’s Party, as well as the third largest liberal faction “Renew Europe”, with the wording “for his courage in the struggle for freedom, democracy and human rights.” The deputies called Navalny “the main political opponent” of Russian President Vladimir Putin, noting Navalny’s speeches against corruption and repression to which he and his associates are subjected.
Left-wing forces – social democrats and greens – have nominated Afghan women who continue to fight for human rights in their country despite the Taliban seizure of power (recognized as terrorist in Russia and prohibited).
- The Freedom of Thought Prize named after human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov is awarded to people or organizations that have distinguished themselves in the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Last year, representatives of the Belarusian opposition received the award, and in 2018 another prisoner of the Russian colony – Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov. After his release, he came to the European Parliament and addressed the deputies in person.
- Navalny was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize this year, but two journalists – Maria Ressa from the Philippines and Russian Dmitry Muratov – became its laureates.
- Alexey Navalny has been imprisoned since January, when he returned to Russia after being treated in Germany. He is being held in a colony in the Vladimir region. Answering a question about Navalny the day before, Russian President Vladimir Putin, without naming him by name, said that he was serving a sentence not for political reasons, but for a criminal offense. Navalny has been convicted in a fraud case that he and his associates believe to be fabricated.